Blog - Beach House Rehab Center
Two women sitting on their beds at Beach House Recovery center. They are smiling at each other.
May 16, 2022

Emotional Regulation in Early Recovery

People aren’t born with the innate ability to manage their emotions, which is why young children have temper tantrums in public places before they learn to do better. While emotional regulation is a skill you can hone with time and practice, some adults never develop ways to manage complicated feelings like grief, anger, anxiety and disappointment. Instead, they depend on alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism, which will eventually lead to a physical and psychological reliance on these substances.

A significant challenge in early recovery is getting to know who you are when you are no longer using drugs and alcohol to mute your feelings. Doing so will require you to practice your emotional regulation skills.

What Is Emotional Dysregulation?

Emotional dysregulation in adults happens when people can’t control their feelings. As a result, they may behave unpredictably, experiencing mood swings or lashing out aggressively. If you typically bottle up your emotions, they’ll continue building in intensity until they reach a tipping point and overflow in an outburst of tears, shouting or recklessness.

If your parents did not demonstrate appropriate behavior, you might have learned from an early age that anger or violence was the only way to manage your emotions. There’s also a close correlation between emotional dysregulation and various other disorders, including ADHD, autism, borderline personality disorder, bipolar, and PTSD. If you have one or more of these, you will be more likely to react poorly in times of stress or mental anguish.

Substance use disorders are a frequent result of dysregulation when people lack healthy, productive outlets for coping with their emotions. Once you are working on your sobriety, you’ll need to learn new ways to manage and process your feelings. 

Healthier Ways to Express Yourself

If difficulties with emotional regulation are impacting your quality of life, relationships, and daily responsibilities, you can learn new coping skills in therapy. Evidence-based techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy and dual-diagnosis treatment can help you discover the links between your feelings and reactions, so you can start being more accepting of yourself and others.  

Without treatment, the disease of addiction and any co-occurring mental health issues will spiral out of control, eventually affecting every aspect of your life. An accredited addiction treatment program like the one we offer at Beach House will provide you with a safe place to start your recovery journey.

Compassionate, Industry-Leading Treatment

A comprehensive continuum of care designed to meet you where you are can help you break the cycle of addiction and find more fulfillment in life. At Beach House, our professional team stays on the cutting edge of clinical research into effective addiction treatments. We believe love and connection are the opposite of the secrecy and isolation that characterize substance use disorders, and our industry-leading approach has made us one of the nation’s top-rated addiction treatment centers. If your life revolves around drinking or drug use and you are ready to admit you have a problem you can’t solve by yourself, contact us today to learn more about our amenities and the benefits of recovering at the beach.